75,000 march in Washington against US militarism and Israeli aggression

Jerry Isaacs

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched in Washington DC on April 20, 2002 to oppose US militarism and the Bush administrationís attacks on democratic rights, as well as Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people. The Capitol Police said the protest was larger than anticipated, estimating 75,000 participants. It was the largest anti-war demonstration in Washington since the Gulf War more than a decade ago.

Anti-globalization protesters opposed to the policies of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund demonstrated near the headquarters of those two institutions, before feeding into the march to the Capitol.

The large turnout was particularly significant in the face of the campaign by the media to promote pro-war and patriotic sentiment in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, as well as the Bush administrationís efforts to silence dissent and brand government critics as accomplices to terror.

In the days leading up to the demonstration the media widely reported preparations by the police, the FBI and National Guard troops for potential violence and hinted at mass arrests. A total of 65 protesters were arrested for minor infractions.

Less than two dozen people attended a small counterdemonstration organized by Republican groups and addressed other right-wingers. This pro-war rally was soon surrounded by jeering demonstrators, with mounted Washington police separating the two groups.

 

[Courtesy: World Socialist Web Site]